Getting off the underground at Moorgate the other day took me straight back in time to when I first worked in the city at the tender age of 17… Coming from a small town, it was hard not to feel a bit like Country Mouse at first amongst the colossal buildings of the Square Mile. It didn’t take long to become addicted to my amazing capital city though, and just a few years later we moved to South West London where I commuted a short distance to a great job in Holborn for years (until I moved on to the next chapter of my life when I became a Mother in 2005!).
Our current life in Bavaria is at completely the other end of the scale location wise, which is something I sometimes struggle with having had access to life on tap in London 24 hours a day. Not that I am complaining (most of the time), Bavaria provides a wonderfully healthy environment for the Small people, but there’s just a part of me that relaxes and sighs a happy sigh as soon as I am back in more of an urban environment…
The memories of days spent in both of those jobs surface from time to time, but the days I perhaps cherish the most are those I spent working in that first job on Watling Street for my very lovely and much missed Uncle. He was a great boss. Sometimes tough, but very fair, and loved by his staff for being a great advocate of things like compulsory bacon sandwiches, and the all important Friday Cake Day. And on Friday’s this is what I always always chose from a tiny coffee shop around the corner – Bakewell Tart, now also known as Nostalgia Cake. Enjoy…
I have added pastry making to a set of new life skills gained as an Expat, having been disappointed so many times by shop bought stuff that tastes either like playdough or soap. It’s really not that difficult to make, and I usually use Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Sweet Shortcrust pastry, for thing like this, freezing any left over for next time…
- Raspberry Jam;
- 150g softened unsalted butter;
- 150g caster sugar;
- 3 beaten eggs, 1 egg yolk;
- 150g ground almonds;
- zest of half a lemon
- a sprinkling of flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 180C (fan oven) and line a 22cm tin or flan dish with baking paper. Roll out the pastry to around 5mm thickness, and place in the tin. Prick pastry with a fork, and leave to chill in the fridge for 20 minutes or so. Line with more baking paper, and fill with baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Leave to cool.
Once the pastry is cool, spread the jam to a thickness of your liking over the bottom of the pastry case. In a food mixer, beat together the butter and sugar, slowly adding the eggs, then add the almond flour and lemon zest. Pour the mixture on top of the jam and spread to the edges of the tin. Bake for 20 minutes, then take out of the oven and sprinkle on the flaked almonds (I think on this occasion, I used around 4tbsps). Put back in the oven to bake for a further 15 minutes or so until risen and set.
Leave to cool (or not) and enjoy a slice or three with a pot of real English Tea…